As of three years ago, we have been attending the annual Scottsdale auction week that brings collectors, dealers, car lovers, and lookie-loos from all over the world into one place. The week’s event sets the tone for the collector car market in the upcoming year. Trends for almost every marque have continued their seemingly […]

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As of three years ago, we have been attending the annual Scottsdale auction week that brings collectors, dealers, car lovers, and lookie-loos from all over the world into one place. The week’s event sets the tone for the collector car market in the upcoming year. Trends for almost every marque have continued their seemingly endless upward climb into what still remains as the million dollar question…If and/or when will the market subside? For now, there seems to be no end in sight and the Scottsdale Auctions have enforced this fact. Courtesy of Sports Car Market Magazine, they have published preliminary sales figures over 229 Million Dollars (not including Russo & Steele and Silver Auctions), overcoming last year’s total sales of 225 Million Dollars. With the addition of R&S, as well as Silver auction’s results, that 229 Million Dollar number increased to a final sales figure of $253 Million.  A few sales results have us intrigued, some have us shaking our heads, and others will prove to be a sensible investment. Below are a few noteworthy lots from the week with some commentary. We chose some of the less obvious cars that you don’t have to be a billionaire to purchase.


RM Auctions:


Lot 106: 1973 Ferrari 365 Daytona. Sold for $555,500


A good friend and highly recognized car collector once told me that when 246 Dino’s are getting just as much, if not more than Ferrari Daytona’s; buy a Daytona as fast as you can. Think about it, would you rather have a gorgeous Ferrari V12 or a somewhat misfit car with a V6 for the same amount of money? My guess is that you would choose the Daytona with its intoxicating V12 sound and timeless body lines. Lot number 106 in particular was a great buy in the current market and would be the exact car we would have in our collection. Matching numbers, original interior, complete with tools, manuals, Borrani wire wheels, etc. It is the total package and will prove to be a good buy in the coming years if the market keeps on this trend.




Lot 18: 1970 Mercedes 280SL. Sold for $165,000


We have been big fans of the Pagoda series Mercedes for a long time. At one point we had 8 of them under our ownership at the same time. These cars are doing impressive numbers in the current market and are a blast to drive in manual shift form. This past year was the 50th anniversary of the Pagoda which spiked prices slightly but the main factor for this price hike are the stratosphere prices of the 300SL Gullwing and Roadster. The prices achieved by the 300SL’s have single handedly brought the undervalued 190SL and Pagoda series car to more appropriate market prices. Lot 18 was an extremely original car down to the factory chalk markings in the engine bay. Despite a high quality repaint, it was totally original and we loved it. The colors would not be our first choice and we would have loved to have seen what it looked like with its original paint, but the price paid here was very appropriate as per the condition. Our advice, buy a pagoda asap; they are perfect for touring, a great investment and perfect addition to any collection. We will be offering a 230SL shortly.



 Lot 126: 1986 Ferrari 328 GTS. Sold for $132,000


My jaw dropped when this car eventually sold for $132K with vibrant bidding throughout the room. There are many cars that we would rather have for $132K but this specific car was new in the box condition for the most part. We always say, the best of anything sells for great money whether it is an Austin Healey Sprite, or a Ferrari 250GTL. All of the Ferrari’s in the RM sale sold for excellent money; notice a trend? Even the not to sought after models have rapidly increased in value. Another example of this is the Ferrari 365GTC/4. We have one currently getting the engine rebuilt over the past year and are pleasantly surprised by the prices they are achieving but most of all, we want to get it done and DRIVE it!



Gooding & Company:


Lot 47: 1994 Jaguar XJ220. Sold for $220,000


These cars are grossly undervalued. Yes, they are British made and with that come their quirky design aspects and crude construction but they are darn cool none the less. Equipped with a twin-turbo charged V6 and 542 horse power, they served as Jaguars entry into 1990’s racing. Only 281 cars were built. With low production numbers, powerful engine, and sleek design, these cars have all the makings for an investment car. Then again, maybe it is the 90’s design that is holding the cars back; it is only a matter of time until these catch on…




1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing


Lot 122: 1956 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing and Lot 42: 1956 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing


Both cars were identical in almost every way. Both were black/red, and both were 1956 cars with little factory options and no rudge wheels. The only exception is lot 42 was a totally untouched original car with tattered interior, original paint, and great history. Lot 122 was a perfectly restored, gorgeous car with documentation. The original car, Lot 42 sold for $1,897,500 and the perfectly restored Lot 122 sold for $1,402,500. Shockingly less than the ratty original car. There is a fine line between needing restoration and original. My thoughts are that this car would side with the “original but needing to be restored” category for most people. However, I wouldn’t dare touch it. Do a full mechanical servicing and drive it as-is and you will be sure to stand out from the rest of the 300SL’s that show up in excess during any show or tour. I guess a few other people had the same idea, huh?



Bonhams Auctioneers:


<b>1965 Porsche 911 Coupe  </b><br />Chassis no. 302226 <br />Engine no. 902350


Lot 149: 1965 Porsche 911 Coupe. Sold for $116,600


Early 911’s have recently gained recognition in the collector car community and these early 1965’s have achieved the best results next to the 911S model. Here we had a barn fresh, matching numbers 1965 in great original colors and ready for restoration with a solid body to start with. We love these early cars because of their rawer, unrefined model introduction attributes with a wood dash and steering wheel amongst other items. This will prove to be a smart investment and enjoyable car for the new owner if he or she decides to restore the car. It will be roughly $80-100K to restore then in which case, they would get their money back plus a bit once it is completed. On another 911 note, watch out for 911E’s; they are following the 911S upward value trend.



LBI’s Overall Trip


As for our week long trip out to Arizona, we decided to hunt for cars in the immediate area, purchasing a very nice driver quality Mercedes 230SL, newer Porsche Carrera, and a one family owned MG TD. We also met with a lot of friends, clients, and other car guys making the trip very entertaining and successful. We also had the pleasure of driving a new consignment coming soon to LBI, a spectacular MGC Roadster with California history, largely original paint, and triple weber carbs for spirited driving. Next stop, Amelia Island in March!

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